In the face of national tragedy, when grieving families know their loved ones are lost but cannot lay them to rest because their whereabouts are unknown, the story is too horrible for mere reporting. Words fail in the face of unspeakable grief and destruction.
Recognizing the inadequacy of the written word, the Galveston Daily News published the "Story Untold" on September 13, 1900 - one week after the disaster. The words chosen then speak with equal force today:
The story of Galveston's tragedy can never be written as it is. Since the cataclysm of Saturday night a force of faithful men have been struggling to convey to humanity from time to time some of the particulars of the tragedy.
They have told much, but it was impossible for them to tell all, and the world, at best, can never know all, for the thousands of tragedies written by the storm must forever remain mysteries until eternity shall reveal all.
Perhaps it were best that it should be so, for the horror and anguish of those fatal and fateful hours were mercifully lost in the screaming tempest and buried forever beneath the raging billows.
Only God knows, and for the rest let it remain forever in the boundlessness of his omniscience.
But in the realm of finity, the weak and staggered senses of mankind may gather fragments of the disaster, and may strive with inevitable incompleteness to convey the merest impression of the saddest story which ever engaged the efforts of a reporter.
Pictures of storm-wracked Galveston, hosted by AwesomeStories, are online, courtesy the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, Texas.